ADF Review: L-E-V's OCD Love Purports to Be About Missed Connections, but We Saw Something Else Entirely | Arts
Arts
INDY Week's arts blog

Archives | RSS | Follow on

Friday, July 6, 2018

ADF Review: L-E-V's OCD Love Purports to Be About Missed Connections, but We Saw Something Else Entirely

Posted by on Fri, Jul 6, 2018 at 2:15 PM

click to enlarge L-E-V - PHOTO BY RON KEDMI
  • photo by Ron Kedmi
  • L-E-V
L-E-V: OCD Love
★★★
Tuesday, July 3
Durham Performing Arts Center, Durham


Program notes can be a lifesaver. The short text explaining a show’s inspiration or meaning often serves as a map lighting up an otherwise inscrutable performance.

Sometimes, though, they lead to a dead end. That’s how I felt watching OCD Love, a work by Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar's company L-E-V. The program notes explained that the show is about lovers failing to connect, but that’s not what I saw. Not even close.

Rather, OCD Love appears to be about five people at a club, gyrating to techno music and checking each other out. The piece opens with one woman moving slowly, slinkily, with spider legs and tortured joints. She’s not necessarily looking for anything, but when a man shows up, they circle each other warily and then part. Later, another woman comes onto the scene and they, too, check each other out, this time with a little more emotional connection; they tease and play, egging each other on.

From the start, the piece has a dark, underworld quality to it: we’re watching a sex club, maybe, or an S&M gathering, where participants in black manipulate one another and are aroused by inflicting psychological or physical pain.

The women in the show feel consistently a little more human than the men; gorgeous dancers though they are, there’s something empty about the guys. They’re constantly preening and voguing with an ironic, sardonic air and little genuine feeling. One in particular looks like a gargoyle, small and grotesquely menacing, frequently rubbing his belly and crotch.

Just before the piece ends, there’s a shift in tone. Suddenly, the dancers begin to move with clear, spacious lines, and the mood becomes somber, almost funereal. But that ends with a bang, and then we’re back to the club, where the original woman is being lifted, treated like a puppet, and taken advantage of. But she doesn’t seem to mind. In fact, she’s going along with it.

And that’s how the show ends, with the woman on the verge of hurting herself—and wanting it. It’s a very bleak world, not about love in any way.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Pin It

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Arts



Twitter Activity

Comments

Laura Jaramillo - I chose to read here to suss out what you do. The clean, spare style seems perfectly …

by growlybear on Movie Review: Sebastián Lelio's Hotly Anticipated Disobedience Is a Strangely Flat Look at Lesbian Love in a Hasidic Community (Arts)

Sounds like a great festival! I enjoyed hearing about it through your lens.

by Lisa Joy Tomey on “At the Festival, We’re All Family”: Reflections on the Ninth Annual African American Cultural Festival in Raleigh (Arts)

Most Read

Most Recent Comments

Laura Jaramillo - I chose to read here to suss out what you do. The clean, spare style seems perfectly …

by growlybear on Movie Review: Sebastián Lelio's Hotly Anticipated Disobedience Is a Strangely Flat Look at Lesbian Love in a Hasidic Community (Arts)

Sounds like a great festival! I enjoyed hearing about it through your lens.

by Lisa Joy Tomey on “At the Festival, We’re All Family”: Reflections on the Ninth Annual African American Cultural Festival in Raleigh (Arts)

Here's a shout-out to the dancers and musicians of The Bipeds who are not mentioned by name in this article. …

by The Bipeds on Dance Review: The Many Moving Parts of The Bipeds' 54 Strange Words Don't Always Perfectly Mesh. But When They Do, It's Spectacular. (Arts)

You probably want to refrain from using ableist language.

by vidvis on ADF Review: Pilobolus's Crowd-Pleasing Dance Is Apolitical. Unfortunately, the World It Inhabits Is Not. (Arts)

© 2018 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation